skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 201934 Find in a Library
Title: Childhood Predictors of Adult Criminality: Are All Risk Factors Reflected in Childhood Aggressiveness?
Journal: Criminal Behavior and Mental Health  Volume:12  Issue:3  Dated:2002  Pages:185-208
Author(s): L. Rowell Huesmann; Leonard D. Eron; Eric F. Dubow
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 24
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article discusses family background and early aggressive behavior as a predictor of adult criminality.
Abstract: This study examined the degree to which family background variables, parental beliefs and behavior, and child intelligence predict child aggression and adult criminality. A 1959-1960 longitudinal study of 856 children in third grade in New York, called the Colombia County Longitudinal Study, provided the data. Adult measures of criminal behavior, child measures taken at age 8, child peer-nominated aggression, child’s peer-nominated popularity, child’s IQ, and parental measures at 8 years were used. The results showed that aggressive children were less intelligent, less popular, rejected more by their parents, had parents that believed in punishment, were less identified with their parents’ self-image, and were less likely to express guilt. As adults, more aggressive children with parents that were less well educated, experienced more marital disharmony, and that seldom attended church were most at risk for arrest. Boys whose parents attended church more frequently when the boys were 8 years old were less at risk for criminality as adults than equally aggressive 8 year old boys whose parents attended church less frequently. These results suggest that how aggressively children behave by age 8 is the best predictor of how likely they are over the next 22 years to be arrested, how many times they will be arrested, how serious will be their crimes, how many times they will be convicted, and how long they will serve in prison. Preventive interventions need to target risk factors that appear to influence the development of early aggression. 7 tables, 48 references
Main Term(s): Aggression; Criminality prediction
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Juvenile recidivism prediction; Personality assessment; Prediction; Problem behavior; Psychological influences on crime
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.